Rockies agree to a two-year extension with Jorge De La Rosa

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The Rockies announced that the club has agreed to a two-year extension with starter Jorge De La Rosa through the 2016 season. The figures are not yet known, and the deal is still pending league approval. (Update: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that it’s $25 million over two years. The contract includes no options.)

De La Rosa drew some trade interest in July, but the Rockies preferred to keep their 33-year-old pitcher with the intent of eventually agreeing to an extension. He would have been eligible for free agency after the season. The lefty joined the Rockies at the start of the 2008 season in the trade that sent reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Royals.

De La Rosa is currently 13-10 with a 4.26 ERA and a 119/57 K/BB ratio in 160 2/3 innings over 28 starts this season. It’s disappointing compared to his 2013 numbers — 16-6, 3.49, 112/62 — but the Rockies expect him to lead their starting rotation ahead of some younger arms over the next two seasons.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

Associated Press
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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.